Super Mario Mini Figures: 6-figure Box Set

Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Bullet Bill, Bob-Omb and a Goomba make up the new Super Mario 6-Figure Box Set from Nintendo!

Each figure is about 2 inches tall and the clean-cut style and molding of the pieces is great for capturing the looks of Nintendo’s most popular heroes and villains. They’re great for any fan of the games, both old and new, and will not only look awesome when displayed, but pretty much demand to be set up as though they’re all part of a level running across the length of your shelf. In fact, I am going to go ahead and say that I insist you set them up that way.

This box set joins the rest of the Nintendo collection, which you can (and should) check out here.

Mario Kart Wii Figures: Pull-speed and Micro RC toys!

It did seem to take a while, but North America’s finally received the a collection of toys from the massively popular Mario Kart Wii! The Mario Kart Wii figures and vehicles include both pull-speed and RC options and both Mario and the sinister Wario are currently available. The micro remote control Mario is an especially fun choice, including a banana and a red shell to foil any opponents and a spare set of wheels in case that risky driving takes its toll. Definitely a great choice for fans of the game.

Another little bit of good news, though, is the potential arrival of an SNES emulator on the brand new iPad. iSmashPhone shows us through the glory of the classic Super Mario Kart.

Put down the Visine, bunky, your eyes are not deceiving you — that IS SNES Mario Kart running on an iPad, courtesy of emulator guru ZodTTD. So with various iPad jailbreaks already popping up like so many (Mario World!) mushrooms, it may be just a matter of time before you can drop the game ROM and Zod’s snes4iphone emulator onto your pwned ‘Pad and speed away.

BUT WAIT! There’s more! Zod’s claiming he created a “legal” (i.e. no-jailbreak-required) version of the emulator, even going so far as to submit it to the App Store:

The build of snes4iphone running on my iPad as seen in the video was actually based on an AppStore app I submitted called “snesty”. Apple quickly rejected it right after pulling the NES emulator. I combined snesty with some snes4iphone features such as using the private API called CoreSurface. I used Apple developer tools and self signed it.

He also promises a version of the emulator that’ll support the iPad’s 1024 x 768 native resolution and even touchscreen controls.

Finally, if you haven’t gotten your hands on what is, after a few years, still #32 on Amazon’s video game list, here’s a link!
Mario Kart Wii with Wii Wheel

The Nintendo DS Goes 3D

We’ve got a ton of Mario/Nintendo toys available for sale over at CMDStore.com. On top of that, you’ll also find Legend of Zelda and Super Metroid items if you’ve a taste for two of Nintendo’s greatest heroes of the non-plumber kind.

But here’s why I bring it up…(besides employement!)

See, I am and always have been a devoted Nintendo girl. In the face of Microsoft and Sony awesomeness, I have always gone for the PC versions of games like Dead Space or Arkham Asylum rather than give in to temptaion and stray from the Nintendo path. When the Wii came out, I was pretty nervous that the competition would eliminate it, but even if I could admit the Wii’s failings, I was thrilled to see it surge right to the top on its own ingenuity. And as you might imagine, I’m always pleased to hear about the success of the DS, which is not only my favourite handheld ever, but seems to have proven itself as the world’s favourite.

They haven’t strayed far from the original formula. They came out with the DS, then the streamlined DS Lite, then the DSi with a camera, now the DS XL with a screen 93% larger than the DSi. But now, Nintendo seems poised to revolutionize their own device by releasing the upcoming Nintendo DS 3D.

Here’s the story from PC World.

Nintendo says it’ll release a 3D version of its DS handheld gaming portable. We learned that much from Nintendo’s official press teaser this morning. But according to Japanese newshound Adriansang, several mainstream Japanese sources are weighing in with claims of tantalizing supplemental specs.

For starters, Nikkei believes Nintendo’s new 3DS will include a stick (a thumbstick?) used to manipulate objects in 3D. Add vibration-feedback to the roster, designed “to communicate attacks and strikes to the player.” Nikkei claims Nintendo nabbed patents for both technologies (presumably in a 3D context) last year.

Expect the 3DS’s integrated wireless to speed up as in the new model, probably to 802.11g. The current models have 802.11b WLAN chip (11Mbit/s), and while 802.11n can handle blazing speeds notwithstanding bottlenecks, 802.11g (54Mbit/s) would be plenty fast.

Look for a battery life boost as well, perhaps a return to DS Lite levels–the newer DSi only lasts about 9 hours on average, versus 15 hours for the DS Lite.

And in a move sure to grab Apple’s attention, the 3DS may include an accelerometer, i.e. a “tilt sensor.” Apple’s iPad and iPhone also employ this technology. Of course we already heard about this back in January.

Japanese news site Daily Yomiuri believes the system will use a Sharp 3D LCD panel that places an additional layer over the screen to create the 3D effect per slight differences in the image seen by either eye. If accurate, that sounds a lot like 3D screen technology previewed at CeBit.

But what about viewing 3D on a tiny handheld device?

According to Nikkei, the 3DS’s screen (singular in the Adriansang report, though this could be a translation error) will measure less than 4 inches, corner to corner.

Imagine viewing a movie like Avatar in 3D on the PSP. Would you really care about the 3D effect in a screen space that small? Remember, we’re talking about a screen that’s typically positioned a foot or more from your eyes. It’s not like a Viewmaster, which can do full stereographic field of view imaging because it’s held directly up to your eyes.

So in summary, here’s what we know: Nintendo says it will release a 3D version of its DS handheld in Japan by March 2011. Full stop.

Here’s what we don’t know, but wish we did: Will the resolution be higher? Will the processor be dramatically faster? Will it use Nvidia’s Tegra 3D chip as previously speculated? Will older DS games be natively processed or emulated? Will it still have two cameras? Will they be any sharper than the low-quality pair in the current DSi? What sort of audio system will it use? Will one or both of the screens be touch-sensitive? Will we still use a stylus? And most importantly: Is the new model meant to be a stepwise family increment, like all the DS’s, or is it a completely new family, like the leap from the Game Boy Advance to the original DS?

And here’s what we don’t know, but some are claiming: The new model will include a 3D control stick, rumble feedback, faster wireless, better battery life, a single (or is that pair of?) slightly-less-than-four-inch LCD(s), and an accelerometer.

Oh, and Nikkei thinks it’ll actually ship 2010 (in Japan, anyway) and not 2011.

Super Mario: Super Size, Mini-figures and Keychains

I was finally able to finish Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story, which I wrote about not too long ago (find that entry here) and it’s genuinely one of those intelligent, entertaining RPGs that I was sad to see end (though the game’s close is definitely worthwhile). While I wait for the next entry into the franchise, though, I can perhaps take comfort in the newest arrivals to our Super Mario Toy collection.

Once again, though, Bowser is underrepresented. What’s a Koopa King gotta do to get a couple figures? If Donkey Kong makes the cut…

But anyway, here are the three new lines we’ve just gotten: Keychains (series 1), Mini-Figures (series 2) and Supersize 9-inch figures. Take a look!

KEYCHAINS!


The Keychains can be purchased alone or as a set of six, which includes Mario, Luigi, Toad, Princess Toadstool, Princess and, for some reason, Donkey Kong. I know he was there at the beginning, but since Bowser’s really taken over, all I ask is that he get some action figure play.

MINI-FIGURES!


This is the second wave of Mario minifigs and it includes two new Mario and Luigi figures, Princess Daisy, Shy Guy, Lakitu and a Koopa Troopa. Each one stands about 2 inches tall, but the sculpting definitely makes them worthy of a place on your toyshelf. They don’t suffer at all from the distortion so often seen in little items.

SUPERSIZE FIGURES!


Standing at 9 inches, these might not seem Supersize compared to most 12”+ toys from other collections, but given that the alternative is a mere 2 inches, this 450% increase suddenly seems impressive. Find Mario, Luigi and Yoshi in this PVC set.

The Top 10 Video Games of 2009

Here’s Time Magazine’s look at the Top 10 video games of 2010, plus links to where you can snag these titles or the toys based on the hits!

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Some mornings you wake up in bed. Some mornings you wake up trapped in a wrecked train car that’s hanging off a cliff. That’s life when you’re Nathan Drake, artifact hunter. The charming, roguish Drake is after the secret of Marco Polo’s lost fleet, and it’s going to take a lot of fisticuffs and gunplay and problem-solving to find it. The hunt takes you through an unbelievable sequence of epic settings, one after another, each one topping the one before it: jungle ruins, mountaintops, Tibetan cities. As if that weren’t enough, the writing and voice acting are way above par for a video game. Seriously. Anybody who was disappointed by the last Indiana Jones movie — meaning everybody — should try Uncharted 2 instead.

Assassin’s Creed II for XBox
Assassin’s Creed II for PS3

Most sequels are creative flops, just cheap makeovers of the originals. Not Assassin’s Creed 2, a follow-up to the 2007 smash hit. This is a smarter, more polished version, with a visually stunning backdrop — Renaissance Italy. While the game looks beautiful, game play has been refined and tweaked for the ultimate open-world RPG experience. There’s even more assassinating, jumping from rooftop to rooftop and history lessons, with an emphasis on Renaissance art. Leonardo would be proud — except for those cheesy Italian voice-overs.

Halo 3: ODST
Just when it was starting to look like the Halo franchise was played out, Bungie took it for a sharp turn, down an alleyway and directly into the shadows. You no longer play the superpowered Master Chief; instead, you play, serially, the members of a squad of comparatively vulnerable Orbital Drop Shock Troopers. The squad is lost and scattered through the ruins of New Mombasa, on a secret mission the point of which its members are only gradually figuring out. It’s a dark, slow, jazzy, hard-boiled take on the Halo world — think Master Chief as Philip Marlowe.

Scribblenauts
Maybe the developers of Scribblenauts were bored with existing puzzle games, but something inspired them to think outside the box. In fact, that’s also what they want players to do. You’re presented with one objective at every level of play, with different parameters and limitations. Your quest is to capture the Starite, and you’re allowed to bring in help. Think a stapler or a dinosaur or a wizard can assist you in your quest? Simply type in the name of your chosen ally, and, poof!, it appears. As your vocabulary grows, so does your potential army of allies

Geo-Defense Swarm (available on iTunes)
I never thought I’d be sitting around singing the praises of the iPhone on this list. The hardware was just too limited — no buttons, no sticks, no tactile feedback. But hordes of developers have proved me totally wrong: this thing can game. Exhibit A out of dozens of quality iPhone games this year: Geo-Defense Swarm, a rich, fast-paced, visually stunning take on the tower-defense genre. Tricked out with neon-glowing candy colors that show off the iPhone’s ridiculously overpowered display, Swarm is a little masterpiece of interface design, balanced game play and clever level design.

New Super Mario Bros Wii
Welcome back, Mario. We missed you. The classic side-scrolling platformer is back with updated graphics and a multiplayer mode that’s so much fun it might supplant DJ Hero as the go-to party game. The story isn’t much different from what we’re used to and involves rescuing the princess because, yet again, she’s stuck in a castle somewhere at the other end of the map. But you get some nice 3-D effects and better use of lighting, which gives the screen more depth. What’s more, the little kids watching you play can join in the game as novices. Of course, that means there will be no one left to get you popcorn.

Borderlands for XBox
Borderlands for PS3
Borderlands for PC

Pandora is a down-and-dirty mining planet that resembles a trashed, irradiated version of the American Wild West. Your job is to scour that landscape in search of the Vault, a semi-legendary cache of technology and wealth. This mostly involves collecting an astounding variety of bad-ass guns and tooling around in funky dune-buggy-type vehicles with really bouncy suspensions while blowing away deranged and mutated bad guys. Borderlands is a marvel of hybrid game design: you add levels and skills as in a role-playing game, but you’re doing it in a sandbox-style open world while engaging in run-and-gun first-person-shooter combat. Add in astounding graphics and wickedly clever writing, and you have something that’s about as close as you can get to a perfect game.

DJ Hero WII Bundle with Turntable
DJ Hero Bundle for XBox with Turntable
DJ Hero for PS3 Bundle with Turntable

In a world of wannabe rock bands — enough already with the rehashed songs from yesteryear — DJ Hero offers a welcome change. With an incredible sound track of exclusive mixes and some lush nightclub graphics, DJ Hero is the new contender for best party game. True, it feels a bit awkward at first to be hunched over a plastic faux turntable, but once you start scratching and mixing, you’ll quickly fall into the groove. And where else could you blend Blondie with a mix of the Gorillaz or Daft Punk with Queen?

Batman: Arkham Asylum for PS3
Batman: Arkham Asylum for XBox
Batman: Arkham Asylum for PC

The ghoulish Joker may never scare movie audiences again, but the struggle between good and evil rages on with Batman: Arkham Asylum, which picks up right where Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight left off. Gotham’s savior finds himself trapped in Arkham Asylum, surrounded by every deviant he’s ever put away — with the Joker at the helm. Unlike earlier video-game adaptations of the DC Comics hero, Arkham Asylum is the total package, with compelling story lines and a kick-butt combat system. Of course, you’ll have to supply your own cape.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 for XBox
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 for PS3

This is a game that sends a message: Video games have something intelligent to say about contemporary military conflicts. In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, you hop around the globe, chasing the front lines of globalized, asymmetrical combat, where not everybody wears uniforms, war isn’t always declared, and the battlefield isn’t clearly marked — battles rage through suburbs, airports and people’s living rooms. There’s tons of raw, riveting military action in Modern Warfare 2, but it’s very much about how the game has changed: limiting civilian casualties and figuring out whom to fight and why are just as important as staying alive.

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And for those of you who want to take gaming into the real world, we’ve got a huge selection of video game toys over in CmdStore’s Video Game Section! Check ’em out!



Mario Bros. Wii: Back to Basics

I know that I grew up on Mario games: while I missed out on most of the NES stuff since I was just slightly too young for it, one of my first major forays into the video game world was with Super Mario World, which revolutionized the world of side-scrollers forever. The levels were complex and a heck of a lot of fun, the design far brighter and more interesting than anything that had come before it. Even the fact that it had secret worlds, bonus levels and alternate level endings (remember those keys?) really set it apart from the competition and then it was on for a crop of new side-scrollers like the Mario sequels or the Donkey Kong Country franchise. Really fun stuff.

And while Mario has strayed from the original formula in games like Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars by Squaresoft, the Mario sports series, the Wii-based Mario Galaxies 1 & 2 and a ton more titles, it’s always fun to get back to basics and enjoy some revamped nostalgia.

Which is exactly what the new Super Mario Bros. Wii has brought the world! Here’s a review from The Sydney Morning Herald


Returning to his side-scrolling roots, Nintendo’s red-capped mascot has finally given Wii owners a taste of the nostalgic gameplay for which he is renowned.

Rather than a Mario-by-the-numbers remake, this fresh instalment brings with it some Wii-specific touches.

While the on-screen charm and chaos will be familiar to Mario fans, the chance to play co-operatively is a first for this decades old gaming franchise and it’s both a blessing and a curse, depending on your choice of gaming companions.

While it’s possible to play the game alone as Mario, up to three friends can jump into the action at any point, which can be both exhilarating and, at times, frustrating. One minute you’ll be working together to reach hidden areas and items, then a moment later you’ll be screaming at each other over stolen power-ups, being pushed off ledges or left behind.

The game is designed to be played with the Wii Remote held horizontally and operated like a traditional controller, plus the Wii’s Nunchuk controller is also supported for those who prefer analog controls. The motion-sensing feature of the Wii Remote is put to good use, activating certain actions when it’s shaken or tilted, though, thankfully, this option is not over-used.

Veterans of this series can expect some gruelling, though rewarding, challenges in the later levels, while inexperienced players can, for the first time, take advantage of the new Super Guide feature, in which the game offers to complete difficult sections automatically. As a penalty, however, all-important star coins, which are needed to unlock later levels, are not collected during this time.

While this latest instalment doesn’t feel as innovative as earlier releases and an online component to play friends afar would have embellished the game further, New Super Mario Bros. Wii remains a solid addition to this much-loved series.

If you want to pick up the game, you can snag it over on Amazon.com right here–it’s currently the NUMBER ONE video game on the site! Snag it: New Super Mario Bros for the Nintendo Wii

Or if you’ve already got it or just want to relive the Mario of yore, check out our massive collection of Super Mario figures, cards, plush toys, vehicles and accessories. We’ve got a ton of stuff from a ton of games and if you’re a Mario lover, you’ll be sure to find something to your tastes! Click the pic below to have a look!

Video Games: Figures and Awful Voice Acting

As many are saying nowadays and as I have said in a recent post, Video Games are becoming more and more cinematic. The scale is epic, with massive new worlds being created as stages for brilliant stories, sweeping tales that truly immerse the player. More and more video games are being made into movies (such as Brad Pitt’s recent purchase of Dark Void) for a mainstream audience who might want to get in on the tales without devoting hours to playing. And manufacturers are beginning to see that, beyond the games themselves, there’s a huge market for merchandise, from soundtracks to figures. And in the latter category, we can help fans out by offering a wide selection of toys from Bioshock to Super Mario, Street fighter to Call of Duty, Super Metroid to Halo and much, much more. Check it out!

 

But of course, there’s another side to that coin. Though video games are definitely improving in quality and becoming closer and closer to films, there’s still one area in which many are…shall we say…lacking: acting. Now, don’t get me wrong: there are a ton of really talented voice actors out there and they deserve all the work they get, if not more. But this youtube video captures a lot of moments where things just didn’t come together. Enjoy!

Mario Collectibles and a Brand New Game!

One of the biggest and best video game franchises belongs to Nintendo’s adventurous Italian plumber, Super Mario. Though the hyper-realism and violence of modern games is as far as you can get from Mario, he continues to be at the center of dozens of hugely popular games. Which makes it surprising that there has been remarkably little real Mario merchandise until recent years. But now that it’s arrived, CmdStore’s got a ton of it right here. Plush toys, Mario Kart vehicles, Gashapon mini toys, keychains, the whole nine yards. Definitely something Mario fans will want to check out.

And something else for fans is the upcoming Super Mario Wii. Check out the trailer and this blurb about its difficulty level from Co-Optimus.com

 

After complaints that the previous 2D Mario Bros. title on the Wii was embarrassingly easy, series creator Shigeru Miyamoto kicked New Super Mario Bros. Wii up a notch or 3. Instead of the cake walk we had in 2D before, expect a solid challenge with New Super Mario Bros. Wii, even in co-op – maybe the Demo Play feature will come in handy after all.

When asked about the game, Shigeru Miyamoto simply said it’s “pretty difficult” and we now know that New Super Mario Bros. Wii celebrates the hardcore fans that grew up with Mario. You and your co-op buddies will need to use all of the “Super Skills” in your arsenal, as well as avoid jumping on each others heads too often, to win this one.